♪ (I believe I can fly!) ♪
…but I probably can’t. Let’s talk about that. ♪ (theme music) ♪ – Good Mythical Morning!
– As the final installment of our Good Mythical Morning Book Club,
we listened to “How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern
World,” thanks to our friends over at audible.com. Fascinating book about
how one innovation in one area led to innovations in other areas. We hope
that you listened along with us, and we will be talking about that more
in Good Mythical More. But that got us to thinking about innovations in
general, and one of the most important and impressive innovations of this
past century, uh, was… – flight!
– Yeah, today we’re gonna talk about flight, and we’re not gonna just stick
with boring planes… – Boring planes. Ew!
– …or even helicopters, which… …I personally love helicopters, but we’re
not talking about that today. We’re talking about flying machines of the
personal variety that push the limits of sanity, and mostly fails. But I do wanna
start with… – On a positive note.
– …an amazing video. Check this thing out. This came out just a few weeks ago.
It’s going viral: a fixed-wing jetpack. – (whispering) What?
– This is a guy… – (Rhett laughing) Sign me up!
– (Link) …Yves Rossy, “The Jet Man,” and there’s another guy that’s with him
in this clip. And… – Aww, this is real?
– …it’s called “Young Feathers 4K,” Oh, there’s two of ’em!
That could be me and you, Link! – Look at ’em!
– Listen to this. There are no controls on this thing. They strap a wing
to their back… – It’s your mind?
– …with four jets, and then… – You think, and you go?
– No! You just, you go like this. Your posture controls how the jetpack
moves. There aren’t any ailerons, or – any of those rudders or anything…
– Big word. Your body is the whole thing.
Go up, go down… – You said ailerons.
– They drop you out of a plane, Rhett. – When do we do this together?
– Well, listen. I knew you would think this was gonna be your calling, but you
gotta train a lot, dude. – I’m training. I’m there!
– You can’t be doing this show – and be doing that.
– We could bring somebody to us. I think what’s more realistic for us is to
focus on the failures in aviation history… – Okay.
– …over the years, so that A: we can make an episode, and B: your head won’t
be in the clouds the whole time. Okay. Well, that makes more sense. It’s
easier, too. Let’s talk about… – (attempted accent) Jah-oh… João Torto.
– Sure. I’m not saying that right. Sure. This is
back in 1540, so a long time ago. – João was a…
– You know what? He didn’t even say it right. He was like, “I do not know how
to say my name.” João. He was a Portugese nurse,
astrologer, and bloodletter, which are the three qualifications I always look
for in a… qualified aviator. – (laughing)
– (laughing) Right. But he announced to the people in his
small town to, “Come out to the town square, where I will demonstrate something
absolutely amazing. Uh, you know… – Is this a transcript of the actual speech?
– No! No, he does have a speech later. – Oh really. Okay.
– I will get to that. Yeah. He told everybody to gather around. He was
gonna demonstrate a flying machine. You probably shouldn’t do that if you know
you’re gonna do something that might not work — bring everybody out — but he did,
and that’s why we’re telling the story. Oh, I’m sure it’s gonna work.
What did he do? Basically, he strapped cloth wings to his
arms, and he put on a fancy eagle helmet. – And this guy’s a bloodletter?
– Eagle helmet. He’s a bloodletter. He’s also an astrologer and a nurse. – Don’t forget that.
– Okay, eagle helmet. Well, I mean, if you wanna fly, first you gotta look
the part, right? – Yeah, right. Yeah.
– So, check. He looks like an eagle. So then he’s got his eagle helmet on.
He’s got his cloth wings on. He’s standing on top of the cathedral, and
everyone gathers and he says, (Spanish accent) “Know all ye inhabitants
of this city, that this day shall not end before you will see the wonder of wonders:
a man who will fly with wings of cloth – from the tower of the cathedral.”
– “I am that man! – Slash eagle!” (laughing)
– You can probably guess this didn’t go – too well.
– Lemme guess… – (unison) It didn’t go too well.
– (everyone on and offscreen laughing) (Rhett) He flew for about 10 seconds!
He actually looked like he was making… – Making flight.
– Flight was happening! But then his… Hold on. 10 seconds from the top of the
cathedral: that’s called falling. No (repeated). He went out. He FLEW out.
For 10 seconds. – Okay. Cool. Good on him.
– That’s a long flight. But then his eagle helmet — that darned
eagle helmet — slipped down over his eyes. He couldn’t see. He was like a bat
at this point… – (crew offscreen laughing)
– …but still looked like an eagle. He tried to make an emergency landing on
the chapel, but he missed it and landed headfirst on the ground and died two
days later. You’re trying to tell me that the only
reason it didn’t work is ’cause the eagle – helmet went over his eyes?
– The eagle helmet was just decorative. Apparently it didn’t provide any head
protection. – So were the feathers!
– (Rhett and crew offscreen laughing) – He fell to the ground and died.
– It wasn’t feathers, man. Where you getting feathers from?
It was cloth wings. – Oh, made to look like feathers?
– He didn’t dress up like an eagle. – He just had an eagle helmet.
– (Link) Well, it does look more like… – …dragon wings.
– (Rhett) Yep. He died. Let’s skip to 1907. Not quite as sad. – Alexander Graham Bell…
– I remember him. inventor of the ♪ (hellooooo) ♪… – Yeah.
– …telephone also made this thing. – (Rhett) Oh.
– (Link) He called this the Cygnet. – (Link) It was a flying device…
– (Rhett) Set of bleachers! – (Link) No. (laughing) For real!
– “I have invented bleachers! – (laughing) Flying bleachers!
– Put a field in front of them, and you – will enjoy soccer for days!” (laughing)
– (stammering) So there’s one guy sitting in the middle of the bottom row of
these bleachers. That’s called the pilot. – (Rhett) “Oh! Front row seat!
On my bleachers!” These are tetrahedrals all over this
thing, and he could get it to fly. So he strapped it behind a boat in 1907
and towed it over the Atlantic Ocean. – Yep.
– And it flew to an altitude of 200 feet. That’s up there, man!
Bleachers in the sky! – (crew offscreen laughing)
– Now, here’s the thing. Alexander – Graham Bell was not on the bleachers.
– Aw, okay. – He put another guy, Thomas Selfridge.
– Mhm. He was on the boat. He was on the boat. He was like,
“I’ll stay on the boat this first time.” – (laughing) Yeah, yeah.
– (laughing) – Thomas Selfridge was the guy that…
– “I’ll call you.” – (laughing) That’s so stupid.
– (laughing) So then 200 feet in the air, the wind
changes, then FUMP! Thomas Selfridge plunges to the ground,
and it’s still attached to the boat, so then it just gets dragged behind the
boat, and it’s just like gl-l-l-l-l-l-l-l. Yeah, like when you’re on an inner tube
and you won’t let go in the lake. Brp! Right. So he finally let go… (stammering)
You know, it didn’t work. – Really? But it’s so pretty.
– News flash. But listen. Thomas Selfridge: he survived, but then, a year
later, he was on the Wright Flyer — – the Wright brothers’ aircraft — and died.
– Oh! Oh! He was on the Wright Flyer at the
wrong time. – (laughing)
– (laughing) Wow, Rhett. – I don’t know what to say except, “Wow.”
– (laughing) – Wow, this guy just…
– He wasn’t even the pilot, by the way. – He had a death wish!
– He was a passenger. – Oh! Well, that was his problem.
– Gimme another one. – How about the AVE Mizar?
– How about it? It’s named after a star, and it was built
in the early 1970s by Advanced – Vehicle engineers of Van Nuys!
– Ho! Big ups to Van Nuys! – Right down the road! Beautiful…
– It’s a valley. – …Van Nuys, California.
– I can smell Van Nuys from here. Um… This thing involved combining
the rear end… – (laughing)
– (laughing) of a Cessna Skymaster to a Ford Pinto! Taking a plane and putting it
onto a Ford Pinto. This is an idea that – someone actually had.
– If I’m gonna make a plane out of a car, I’m definitely gonna choose
a car that’s named after a bean! – (laughing) We’re not done with beans yet.
– That’s the top of my list. – Oh, really?
– They wanted to sell this thing to the – public, so they made a commercial.
– Oh, yeah. – ♪ (orchestral music) ♪
– Oh, snap! It is working! (male voice) The Mizar air car was
conceived by engineers who felt America’s need for a practical, safe… – Look at that! Pinto comin’ right at you!
– …new style of transportation. – (laughing)
– Their achievement is a unique machine: simple to operate as an airplane, more
convenient than any ordinary automobile… – A lot more convenient.
– …The Mizar integrates… – It’s got a whole plane on it!
– …and FAA approved certified airframe… – …and aircraft engine with a modified…
– So convenient. Fits right in your garage. …conventional automobile, like a Ford
Pinto. The automobile is modified to – include a flight instrument panel…
– Of course. …fully equipped in accordance with FAA
regulation, with VFR flight capability. – Okay.
– Yeah, but how do you open the trunk? You gotta remove the whole plane just
to get your groceries out! I think you forfeit the trunk when you do
this. Okay, basically this thing… – Why?
– They flew it in 1973. A wing strut failed. The test pilot landed it in a BEAN
field. I’m not making this up. – (laughing) Pinto — (laughing)
– He landed it in a bean field, and then – drove right back to the airport.
– He was like, “Hm, this’ll be funny. – (laughing) Yeah.
– This’ll be ironic.” (laughing) “Landed in a bean field, guys!
In the Pinto!” – (forced laughter) Anyway, the next
– “Get it?” year — later that year, another test
flight ended with the creator of the plane and his associate dying. They
apparently landed in a bean field and died. I don’t know if it was a bean field,
but they died, and this basically ended this whole thing. The National
Transportation Safety Board reported that bad welds, poor design, loose parts,
and the fact that it was a plane put onto – a Pinto were responsible for the crash.
– (laughing) – Beans, beans, good for your… plane.
– (laughing) The more you — I don’t know. It doesn’t
work. They died. All right. I’ve got one here. Now, wars
frequently… – Happen.
– …inspire new technology. And they – happen. World War I gave us
– Yeah. – zippers, Kotex, and tanning beds.
– Oh. But World War II gave us this thing.
Yes, this is a soldier standing on top of a fan. It’s basically a flying Segway
from 1955. – It’s amazing!
– It had no mechanical controls. Just like the fixed wing jetpack I was talking
about. You pilot it by shifting… – …your weight.
– (Rhett) I love it. I’m in. – (Rhett) Where do we sign up?
– (Link) It can go 33 feet in the air, and it’ll fly over all the enemy troops.
I mean, you’re like a sitting duck. – Or, you’re like a flying duck.
– (laughing) – You’re like a human piñata.
– Yeah, really, It’s like they’re playing Duck Hunt, but there’s people. It makes
it really easy, it’s like, “Hey, he’s on a fan. Lemme get a bead on him.”
(high-pitched humming) – But it was destined to…
– He’s only 33 feet in the air. It was designated for failure, but the
thing that they didn’t expect to happen which was great is that when they
would fly it over the enemies, all the enemies would run underneath it and just
(broken speech) start talking into it, like… – (laughing)
– “No, I am your father.” – Right, and then you shoot them.
– And you’re just like br-r-r-r-r-r-r-r! “Oh, here they come! The fan’s bringin’
’em out!” “Speak into my fan. It alters your voice.”
You’ve done that. Don’t put your – fingers in it!
– Okay. I’m interested. I searched this thing up, and I found one
for sale on eBay for $275. – No (stammering) you’re joking.
– It was a six-inch replica. – (Rhett laughing)
– (Link) But for a second, I was so… – (Rhett) We can put a doll on it.
– …excited! – We can put a little toy soldier on it.
– Oh, you can buy it. – Does it work?
– I’m not gonna buy it. You can buy it. Okay, congratulations to all of those
of you who went before us and fell into the ocean and bean fields, uh…
so that we could fly commercial – airlines in comfort.
– And we wanna thank our sponsor, audible.com. Remember, you can get a free
audiobook and a 30-day trial. Go to – audible.com/gmm. Over 150,000 titles…
– That’s a lot! …to choose from. Enrich your lives,
people. Listen to some stuff. Find some stuff to talk about in, uh…
intimate gatherings. That’s right. Audible.com/gmm. The link
is in the description. Thanks for liking and commenting
on this video. – You know what time it is.
– Hey, y’all. I’m Christy from Kingsland, Georgia. It’s time to spin
The Wheel of Mythicality! Remember, the Song Biscuits album is out:
all 15 song biscuits, those songs that we wrote. Sometimes just the two of us,
and sometimes we collaborated with – a friend. Get that at iTunes, Amazon…
– Buy the whole album. Support – Internetainment, y’all!
– It’s only $8.99! – Click through to Good Mythical More.
– 15 songs! We’re gonna talk about “Six Innovations
That Made the Modern World Possible.” – It was inspiring and intriguing.
– Freeze frame. ♪ (easygoing music) ♪ [Captioned by Kevin:
GMM Captioning Team]